It was revealed last winter, per The Telegraph's Jeremy Wilson, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger had a £70 million transfer kitty to spend over the summer. The purchase of Real Madrid midfielder Mesut Ozil for £42.5 million on 2 September corroborated the reported budget.
With £27.5 million still unaccounted for, and Oliver Giroud being the only viable striking option available with Theo Walcott and Nicklas Bendtner out injured, Wenger will need to delve into Arsenal's pockets once more and buy a forward if he expects his side to win the Premier League.
The prospect of buying players in January is always tricky. Prices are elevated to prodigious amounts and the rumour mill makes even the faintest whisper seem like yells that could start avalanches. The truth lies somewhere in the middle, but the chatter makes transfers even harder to complete this month.
Nonetheless, if the Gunners hope to finish on top of the table this season, they'll have to be active come the last week of an open window.
Manchester City have Stevan Jovetic, Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Alvaro Negredo at their disposal—an embarrassment of riches on every level. Not to be outdone, Chelsea can afford to send Romelu Lukaku on loan yet still be only two points off the top spot.
In north London it's a bit different. Wenger's solitary goal-getter, Giroud, is a poor tackle away from missing extended time. With no quality replacement (or competition), Arsenal's priority this window should be finding support for their lonely striker.
When looking around the world for options we find two world-class options who could tilt the scales in Arsenal's favour come May.
The first option's transfer was dismissed in the summer.
Liverpool's Luis Suarez would have been an exceptional fit at Arsenal; but the Gunners' bid of £40,000,001 was vehemently rejected; and so ends that tale.
If Wenger wants a target who can actually be purchased—he should look to Madrid.
French international and current Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema would be a perfect fit at the Emirates. Wenger would appreciate his slick movement, physical prowess and clinical finishing—so would the likes of Ozil, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere.
The French striker has played in 30 games for Real Madrid this season, but only gone the distance in 10 of those matches. He might fancy a proper duel for supremacy with Giroud, rather than playing sporadic minutes at the Bernabeu.
The Daily Mirror reported in November Arsenal were preparing a bid for the Madrid forward this month, but talk of late has been at a minimum. Through Ozil's transfer we know talks between the European giants can result in accomplished business—so the deal isn't out of the realms of possibility.
Valued at £30 million by TransferMarkt, but only £20 million by Real Madrid according to Adrian Kajumba of The Daily Star—the remaining budget of £27.5 million would be more than enough for Arsenal to accommodate the French striker's transfer.
With consecutive games against Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton in March and April, if the Gunners fail to buy Benzema (or any striker for that matter) their season won't end with confetti and captain Thomas Vermaelen (provided he's able and available) lifting the BPL trophy above his head.
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